In January 2009 two issues were of most concern to our media industry. These were the closing of the consultation period for the “Control of Obscene and Indecent Articles Ordinance” (Consultation Paper) and share-ownership changes at ATV.
Hong Kong Journalists Association (HKJA) made a submission on the “Control of Obscene and Indecent Articles Ordinance” (Consultation Paper) to the relevant department of Hong Kong SAR Government for reference. The full text of this submission is now on our website.
After detailed study of the consultation process of the “Control of Obscene and Indecent Articles Ordinance” (Consultation Paper), HKJA has raised the alarm over the spread of a very dangerous tendency in our society. A lot of conservative local organizations and individuals have, on many occasions, attempted to persuade the Hong Kong SAR Government to enact proposals that will inevitably have negative impact on the freedom of expression and the press, leading to laws with coercive powers.
HKJA agrees that in recent years some local print media have been awash with “yellow news”. Of course, it is not a good phenomenon. Nevertheless, HKJA insists that if we change this situation, the effective way is not to lobby the government to pass some law which will be harm the freedom of expression and press.
On the changes in share-holding at ATV, HKJA hopes that it would not affect the editorial independence of the news department of Asia TV.
In addition, under the auspices of the International Federation of Journalist (IFJ) and the LO-TCO, HKJA has published a handbook – “Covering Disasters-Safely: A Guide to Covering Disasters”. Copies have already been mailed to all members.
Camoes Tam Chi Keung, HKJA Chairperson (2008-09)